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HotRod FAQ

Smash TV - November 19, '99 by Dorsola
Game:Smash TVCompany:Williams
Type:ShooterPlayers:1/2

Here is the epitome of excessive, totally pointless blood-and-guts shooter games. Smash TV, heralded as one of the most popular and most coin-hungry video games Williams ever produced, makes you the next lucky contestant in a game show designed to satisfy man's hunger for violence. After a very brief intro, you are placed in the middle of a closed arena and left to fend for yourself with literally hundreds of enemies all swarming at you at once! Armed only with a machine gun with unlimited ammo, you must destroy every enemy in the arena, dodge the mines placed randomly throughout, and collect powerups and fabulous prizes and cash as they appear. Once you've succeeded at your task, it's off to the next arena for even more mayhem.
Your enemies range from humanoids armed with clubs, to walking shrapnel bombs, to small tanks, floating robots, cobra-men, and even a few really big, really ugly bosses. Every one of them is programmed with a single mission: Kill you. And I guarantee that you will die many, many times, if not from the strength, speed or cleverness of your enemies, then from the sheer quantity. Smash TV is one incredibly difficult game to play, even on the easiest settings, and if you're dedicated enough to seeing the ending, you will be pumping quarter after quarter into it. (It doesn't get much easier with two players, though it is considerably more fun that way.) With multiple courses and bonus rooms to find, and even an ultimate end goal to reach, this machine offers quite a variety both to the beginning and the advanced player.
Now, aside from the fact that this machine holds up really well despite having so many objects on the screen at one time, you will be amazed by the quality of the graphics in this game! Everything is very highly detailed - to the point that you can see various body parts flying from the enemies you kill (and of course, when you yourself are killed). The screen comes alive with detailed backdrops and foregrounds, convincing explosions, and enough activity on the screen that it's actually pretty easy to get lost in the mess! Sound is also quite good, with appropriately grim and yet exciting music staying neatly in the background while the sampled sounds of guns, missile launchers, explosions, and a whole variety of voices takes to the foreground.
As if these details weren't enough, the control in this game is top-notch as well. The only buttons you'll find on the whole cabinet are the two start buttons. Your controls are made up of two joysticks, one for movement and one for firing. This gives you the ability to both move and fire in eight directions simultaneously and independently, so getting out of the way and shooting your attackers is easier. And as for performance: At the time of this writing (MAME 0.36 beta 9.1), the TMS34010 games (of which Smash TV is one) have all been greatly optimized, which makes playing this game feasible on a fast computer (P2/350 or above). I give Smash TV high marks in all of the categories because it is arguably a great game all around! Fun, fast, exciting, challenging, easy to learn, hard to master, visually and aurally pleasing... like any good game show ought to be.
Good luck! You'll need it!
Graphics
10
9
Sound
Play Control
10
10
Challenge
Replay Value
9
8
Performance

Screen Shots

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1999 EmuViews